Direct Access

Dental Hygiene appointments available – no need to see the dentist first

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What is direct access?


What is it?

Dental hygiene programmes aim to improve and maintain the health of your gums. This may be simply keeping your already-healthy gums healthy, or treating the effects of gum disease.

Gum disease is an inflammatory disease of the supporting structures of the teeth, caused by plaque build-up and smoking, leading to tooth loosening and tooth loss. The treatment of gum disease aims to stop the disease progressing.

Read more about gum disease


Listen to real patients’ experiences of gum disease (periodontitis)

 


What is it for?

For already healthy gums, regularly dental hygiene appointments help to keep the gums in a healthy state, which minimises the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.

If you have noticed your gums bleeding or looking red rather than pink in colour, this often means your gums are inflamed. Your dentist or hygienist will also be able to spot if gums are inflamed and will let you know if this is the case

If the gums are inflamed for a prolonged period of time, they detach from the tooth roots, forming pockets between the tooth and gum. The bone supporting the tooth gets eaten away, eventually causing the tooth to become loose and come out. Once the gums start to detach and form pockets, they cannot be re-attached. The aim of treatment is to stop the progression of the disease and stabilise the condition.


What does the procedure involve?

The success of gum disease treatment depends on the teeth being as clean as possible for as much time as possible. It is important that thorough cleaning takes place both with the hygienist and at home. Your hygienist will thoroughly clean the teeth to remove any plaque and tartar both above and below the gumline, especially hidden inside any gum pockets. They will also discuss with you exactly the procedures required for you home oral hygiene. The success of the treatment relies very heavily on your motivation and oral hygiene regime at home.


What are the alternative treatments?

If you have inflamed gums or gum disease, not having this treated means that it will inevitably progress which can lead to tooth loosening and tooth loss.


How long will it last?

The success of treatment depends on the risk factors. The most important are oral hygiene and smoking, although genetics and diabetes also have effects. In any case, the better these factors are controlled, the more stable the disease will be, and the longer it will be before teeth start to come loose.


Direct access hygiene appointments

We offer Direct Access appointments for dental hygiene. This means you can book an appointment with the hygienist without having to see the dentist first.
Direct access is available to both existing and new patients. New patient info
Visiting the hygienist is beneficial for your dental health, but we also do strongly recommend seeing your dentist for regular dental health checks.

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Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Enables teeth to be kept for as long as possible Requires motivation
Having healthier gums will reduce the risk of other dental problems, e.g. tooth decay, bad breath.

 


Diagram showing gingivitis and gum disease

gingivitis diagram